Can urban environmental problems be overcome? The case of Skopje - world’s most polluted city

Arsovski, S., Kwiatkowski, M., Lewandowska, A., Peshevska, D. J., Sofeska, E., & Dymitrow, M. (2018). Can urban environmental problems be overcome? The case of Skopje–world’s most polluted city. Bulletin of Geography. Socio-Economic Series, 40(40), 17–39. doi:10.2478/bog-2018-0012

Publication type
Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
Research Forum Urban Rural Gothenburg
DOI Title
Can urban environmental problems be overcome? The case of Skopje—world’s most polluted city
Bulletin of Geography
ISSN 1732–4254
Slobodan Arsovski Michał Kwiatkowski Aleksandra Lewandowska Dimitrinka Jordanova Peshevska Emilija Sofeska Mirek Dymitrow
Published year
pollution environmental problems Sustainable development Skopje Poland



The condition of the environment is one of the most fundamental concerns of cities worldwide, especially when high levels of pollution and environmental destruction exert immense impact on people's quality of life. This paper focuses on Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, which often tops the charts as the world's most polluted city. Despite associated problems such as congestion, ill health, and premature death, Macedonia's scarce resources are instead spent on controversial projects, such as 'Skopje 2014', involving creating a national identity through massive and extremely costly constructions of neo-classical government buildings, museums and monuments. The aim of this paper is to compare the situation of Skopje to environmentally oriented activities conducted in several Polish cities and to discuss the possibility of their implementation in Skopje. Considering the scale and scope of Skopje's environmental problems, the paper offers some priorities for action, including solutions that emphasize institution building, technical input and self-governance. It also highlights a number of economic, ecological, and socio-cultural contradictions involved in the process of achieving sustainable development.

Related publications